Glad you could join us for the next motivational episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“I remember the process you’re talking about, Arnie.” With her eyes closed, Queen Lilian gazed at the pointed end of a memory that still cut into her heart. “We haven’t used it since Mother died.” She opened her eyes and willed her face to smile.
King Arnie asked, “Could we use it for Randall?”
“Of course. We’ll prepare a work area tonight, and they can bring his body in the morning.”
“Thank you, Lilian.” The King looked at his feet. “I tried to keep him safe, and I failed.”
Resting her hand on his arm, she said, “You offered him the best chance to stay safe from war, but did you expect him to abandon his freedom to make his own decisions? Especially when he was thinking of his child.”
Arnie’s heart was weary. “How many more will die before we end this war?”
The Queen’s Guard entered with the sound of pattering rain. “Your Magnificence, your Greatness, Lieutenant Terrance requests audience with the King of Bog.”
Queen Lilian deferred to King Arnie. “Send him in.”
The Lieutenant bowed to the Queen and saluted the King. “Sir, Prince Elliot asked me to personally deliver a message.” He glanced at the Queen and paused. Arnie nodded. “Sir, Ma’am, the Prince plans to meet with General Hai to discuss the possibility of transferring Madam Duggla to The Arids. He would like to know if he should deny the possibility, or agree to trade her for any prisoners the rebels have taken.”
“When and where is the meeting?” The King asked.
“Nothing is scheduled yet,” Terrance said. “The Prince said he’ll share that information as soon as it’s set, but I believe the General won’t allow him to.”
Queen Lilian looked at Arnie. “Duggla told Vernon which direction Hai’s army would come from, and she was correct. She also talked about snakes attacking the prisoners, but she couldn’t — or wouldn’t — give him any information that could help us isolate him to take him into custody. Maybe if we can surveil the discussion, we can find an opportunity.”
Nodding, King Arnie addressed the Lieutenant. “Tell Prince Elliot, after the General provides proof all prisoners are alive and well, and his guarantee they will remain so, the only trade we will agree to is Madam Duggla for all the prisoners of war.”
Lieutenant Terrance nodded once. “Yes, Sir. Your Magnificence, do you want me to assign a covert surveillance team to follow the Prince?”
“Yes. Coordinate that with Captain Harper.” She studied Arnie’s face. “But he also needs a visible entourage to protect him.”
Arnie smiled, “I agree, we don’t want to lose him. Assign as many Knights as you feel are required. Thank you, Lieutenant.”
Terrance bowed, saluted, and left.
The Guard held the door open. Lightning flared flinging agonized shadows around him. “Commander Torlex and Sirehta of the Viper Brotherhood have arrived.”
Cyrus shot into the chamber, a trail of thunder and raindrops falling behind him. “I’m sorry your Magnificence…” He dropped to the ground, panting. “Your Greatness… Miss Miranda’s in the Bower… the Assassin has taken Princess Cassandra!”
Arnie leaped for the door. “Cyrus, stop Lieutenant Terrance. Have him meet me there — and see if you can find Knights Trevor and Barry, too. Lilian, I’ll find out what happened.”
They rushed out into the storm.
To be continued. . .